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Saturday 25 February 2012

Tajikistan Keen to Buy Iranian Oil


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TEHRAN (Fars News Agency) – Tajikistan’s ambassador to Tehran voiced his country’s willingness to purchase Iranian crude oil, and called for the construction of an oil pipeline for transferring Iran’s oil to the Central Asian state.

Lavan Island in Iran
(Photo: Getty Images)

Speaking to reporters here in Tehran on Thursday, Dolat Ali Hatamov (دولتعلی حاتمف) stated that even though most of Tajikistan’s oil demand is met by crude from Russia, Dushanbe is ready to import crude oil from the Islamic Republic. The Tajik diplomat also emphasized the necessity of building a pipeline between Iran and Tajikistan in order to transfer Iran’s oil to different parts of the Central Asian country.

The Iranian government said this week it halted direct sales of crude to French and British buyers and forbade re-sale of its oil to these two nations, which have been harsh critics of its nuclear program. The move was aimed at pre-empting a European Union embargo of Iranian oil set to take effect in July. Iran will give its crude to “new customers,” Alireza Nikzad Rahbar (علیرضا نیکزاد رهبر), an Oil Ministry spokesman, said on Feb. 19.

The Iranian officials have always stressed that the EU decision to impose a ban on Iran’s oil supply is ineffective, and added that there are always many customers for Iranian crude. After months of debates, the EU member states reached an agreement in their meeting on January 23 to sanction oil imports from Iran and freeze the assets of Iran’s Central Bank within the EU.

Following the decision, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton claimed that the sanctions are aimed at pressuring Iran to return to talks over its nuclear program. Despite Ashton’s claims, Iran has always underlined its preparedness to resume talks with the West but has meantime stressed that it will never accept any precondition for such talks.

The Iranian oil ministry in a statement late January downplayed the effects of the US and EU’s unilateral oil sanctions against Tehran, and said such embargoes will merely harm the European economies and oil consuming countries. European sanctions against Iran’s oil exports will affect world economy and hurt European and non-European countries, the statement said.

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